Jerry Gunn, a longtime radio news reporter in North Georgia and at Gainesville’s WDUN, died Friday. He was 69.
A native of Winder, Gunn had been suffering from cancer for several years.
Gunn began his radio news career at WRGA in Rome. He later worked at stations in Macon and Albany before joining WDUN in the late 1990s.
In his career, he earned several state awards for news coverage, including the Green Eyeshade Award. He earned the respect and admiration of fellow journalists for his professionalism and determination to get a story, covering everything from courts to government.
Former Times reporter Ashley Fielding, now director of Legislative Affairs and Communications at Georgia Department of Human Services, remembered Gunn fondly on a social media post.
“I spent much of the first decade of my career sitting next to Jerry Gunn in government meetings. With his flat cap, coat with the elbow patches and the ubiquitous smell of pipe tobacco about him, Jerry Gunn was a journalist action figure come to life,” Fielding wrote.
“He had a huge recorder that I imagined he'd been hauling around since the ’70s. When he was 15 minutes late to a city council work session, he was unapologetic about interrupting the meeting to get that recorder placed perfectly in the middle of the table. He also never minded the volume of his voice as he muttered cynical commentary to me about government officials who were sitting only a few feet away.
“Jerry was a good guy who was committed to keeping his community informed. And he always got the story.”
Gunn’s radio colleagues also shared their admiration in a story on the WDUN website, accessnorthga.com.
"As a newsman, everyone in the profession looked up to him and tried to emulate his ethics. As a reporter, he was fair and accurate in his coverage. And, as a person, he was a someone you always wanted to be with," said Jay Jacobs, owner and CEO of Jacobs Media.
"Jerry was probably one of the best 'street' reporters we ever had," said retired News Director Ken Stanford.
In his spare time, Gunn enjoyed performing in the theater and was a Civil War buff.
Gunn is survived by his partner Lois Helmers of Winder, two daughters and a grandson.
Funeral services are set for Sunday at Bethlehem United Methodist Church in Bethlehem, with a memorial service to be held at a later date at Memorial Park North-Riverside Chapel in Gainesville.